Transport and Food and Civil Supplies Minister G.S. Bali announced special concession in revised bus fares for students, senior citizens and daily commuters. He said that Bus pass-fee for the school and college going students would not be increased despite hike in bus fares. Himachal Roadways Transport Corporation (HRTC) would launch a new card scheme to facilitate the commuters.

Bali said that HRTC staff had been directed not to charge revised fare from students coming for bus passes. The bus passes for all school and college going students would be as per pre revised fare. He said that as and when the diesel rates would be reduced by the companies, the hike in prices of bus fare would also be reduced accordingly and won’t be increased for the next two years. He said that since the government had taken decisions not to increase the bus pass-fee of the students, the students in particular need not to rake up the issue.

Bali said that bus fare hike was necessitated because of continuous diesel price hike by the oil companies due to enhanced rates of petroleum products in the International market, who function independently and urged all concerned quarters not to politicize the issue.

He said that to provide more facilities to the passengers, HRTC would soon launch a new ‘Green Card’ scheme wherein commuters would be provided 30 percent rebate in bus fares for traveling between 40 to 60 kilometers. He said that this facility would be available to those passengers who after starting from a particular destination travel for more than 40 kilometers but less than or equal to 60 kilometers.

Transport Minister said that HRTC was already facilitating its passengers with yellow and smart card schemes. Under the Smart Card scheme, card holder is allowed 10% concession in fare for traveling in HRTC buses besides; Senior Citizens are being provided 20% concession under the scheme. He said that efforts would be made to cover more and more people under this scheme and passengers would be exhorted to use smart cards regularly. It will provide commuters with one or other type of concessional facility, he added.

Bali said that Yellow card scheme of the corporation was very popular and at present about 55000 commuters were benefitting from this scheme. He said that under this scheme, the card holder was provided 20% discount within the radius of 40 kms from place of issue of card or place opted by him.

Transport Minister said that all Green, Yellow and Smart Cards issued in future, would have 5 years validity instead of one year at present. He said that HRTC would also launch a special drive to cover maximum passengers under one or other concessional scheme.